habits combined with a healthy diet
allow your body to have more energy, feel great, and prevent disease...and it doesn't require you to deprive yourself of foods you love
. The key to healthy eating is eating the right amount given your body's needs. It simply takes a little nutritional education and planning tools to manage what food you buy, prepare and eat.
Basic Nutrition for a Healthy Diet
A healthy diet consists of a balanced amount and ratio of protein
, and carbohydrates
, as well as fiber
(a form of carbohydrate), and other micro-nutrients like vitamins
. Each of these play a role in building or powering your body. Unfortunately there are many different forms of fat and carbohydrate that impact how healthy foods are for you, so it's important to choose, as often as possible, foods that will improve your health rather than foods that increase your risk of illness such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
What are the right amounts of each of these nutrients on a daily basis? That depends on a number of factors including your age, height, activity level, and what diet strategy you choose. You can use MealMixer's Body Mass Index Calculator and Diet Calculator
to determine your caloric needs, and also where you fall on the weight scale.
Basic Healthy Eating TipsEat enough to satisfy, but don't overeat
, and always try to match your daily (or weekly) caloric intake
(food) with your caloric output (exercise and normal body function). The government has a "recommended daily allowance" based on 2,000 calories, but this will have a negative impact if your caloric needs are under 2000 calories. A better solution is to use our body mass index calculator and diet calculator
to determine if you need to lose weight
, gain or maintain weight, what your intake should be based on your dieting strategy, age, height, sex, and level of activity.Eat a wide variety of foods including (especially) fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes
. These foods contain complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and are low in fat, and free of cholesterol. These foods are metabolized by the body in a normal way, which doesn't spike your blood sugar. Eat these and all food in moderation, particularly high-calorie empty food like candy and desserts. MealMixer Dieter
will tell you the number of servings you should have for each item/dish on your meal plan. This is important since over the years serving sizes have increased dramatically in restaurants and consumer packaged goods.Explore new foods
. Each week or month add a new type of food using tried-and-true recipes
. The planner will give you new suggestions each week, be adventuresome every now and again and you'll be richly rewarded with an expanded palette.Drink plenty of water
. Water is vital to a healthy diet -- it flushes our digestive and other bodily system of waste and toxins. Most Americans are chronically dehydrated, and often eat when they're really just thirsty.Limit high salt, high sugar, and highly refined grain products
. These products are at the heart of why Americans are overweight
. For example, drinking one 12-ounce can of cola every day at 160 calories can add 16 pounds of body weight each year. Add chips, french fries and candy to the mix, and lead a sedentary life, and you're assured of getting fat. But remember, in moderation, you can enjoy your favorite sweets and even some fried foods now-and-again. The Healthy Eating Diet Planner
will show you how to intersperse these foods into an overall healthy eating plan each week. Exercise
. When you're active you'll:
- have a better appetite
- have more energy
- enjoy the foods you eat more
- not feel guilty eating those "sinful" extras (but, again, in moderation)
- improve all of your bodily functions, which will give you a more positive outlook on life.
We have plenty of great suggestions for ../exercise
Good Mealtime Practices
You are what you eat and how you eat. In our hurried lives we often make mealtime a perfunctory chore. Change this by:Chewing food more slowly
. Enjoy what you're eating. Like wine-tasting, it should be fun to explore the flavors, textures, aromas, and colors that make up your meals. Make meal time more about quality than quantity.Chilling out
and making meal time a special time. It's vitally important the you avoid stress while eating
. Stop eating when you start feeling full
. It takes a few minutes for the signal to get to your brain that you're full (didn't your Mom tell you to chew your food 17 times?). Beyond this, you'll avoid that sleepy feeling after a big meal.Eat a good breakfast
to wake-up your metabolism and give yourself energy for a productive day. The later you eat the more your body will tend to store the foods as fat, rather than burn it for energy. Eat smaller, tastier meals
so you won't over-tax your body and blood sugar levels, which can cause a rebound effect making you even more hungry (and reaching for snacks) when you really aren't (see metabolism
for more about this curious effect).
Building Block of a Healthy Diet
Eat more Fruits and Vegetables
because they have numerous health benefits such as providing essential vitamin, minerals, antioxidant and fiber. Every meal should contain one or more fruits and vegetables and should be your go-to item when it's snack time because, in addition to powering your body and helping it develop, they help protect against developing certain types of cancers and other diseases. Try to get at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day, preferable seven to ten. Limit sweets
in your diet. You should enjoy sweets on occasion (as someone once said, imagine the people who passed up the dessert cart on the Titanic). Refined sugar is one of the bad carbohydrates
since it spikes blood glucose levels. It also tends to diminish enzymes and minerals we need to function well. Too much sugar will increase your risk of diabetes
, and hypoglycemia, as well as arthritis, and osteoporosis.
As you cook more using one of our diet planners
, you'll have more of an opportunity to bake more, which will allow you to manage the amount and source of sugar in your sweets. Skip the soft drinks
, or at least curtail them as much as possible. They are the bane of healthy eating as because their sweetness usually makes you crave something salty, which starts a vicious cycle of calorie consumption. Spritzers are a much better choice, or, just plain old filtered water.Stay away from salty foods
. Try to limit your sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day (about one teaspoon). In time you will appreciate the actual taste of the food and won't enjoy overly salty food.
With these tips, and a great diet planner
helping you put everything together on a weekly basis, you and your family will enjoy food more, spend less, and be healthy for the long-run.